Thursday, November 4, 2010

Much Going On

To catch you up, we did get my FBI letter and a few other documents all made official and sent off. Because they dragged in late, our dossier is still in the registration process. But, any day now...

I recently had to have wrist surgery (ganglion cyst), so I've not really been up to blogging. I also think our yard sale season is going to have to close for the year. I thought we would make it to a grand total of 25 (for the entire adoption process), but it looks like we have stalled at 23. I'm sure there will be more next year. (Yay?) Now I have to find a place to store everything until next year. We really want our garage back!

School is going well...okay, most days are good days. I recently instituted my own Sonic Rewards Fridays. Eli was being so slow about getting ready in the morning, and Colton was having trouble getting finished in a reasonable amount of time. It was like pulling teeth--first one in the morning, and the other at the end of our day. So, I set up 2 small white boards on the fridge, listed the days down the left, and made two columns labeled "Start" and "Finish". Here's the deal. If they are ready for school before the alarm on my phone, they get a star. If they finish everything before we quit for lunch, they get another star. Ten possible stars in a week. If they earn 6, 7, or 8 stars, I take them to Sonic on Friday during Happy Hour for a slush. If they earn 9 or 10 stars, they can upgrade to an ice cream cone or cream slush (while those are half price). So far, we are doing WAY better.

In a push to raise money before we get a referral, I'm reinstituting the "Party Contest" fundraiser. If anyone is interested in participating, it's really very simple. You host a party: watch a movie, play games, do something specific...or not. Each guest brings $10. You can either ask guests to bring a snack or pay for the snacks out of the money collected. The money can then be sent to us. There are details on our website from the last time we did this. Prizes were involved for the most sent in as well as for everyone sending in $150 or more. Please check it out. (Link to our website here.) I've not yet updated the pdfs, but the info on the page should be up to date.

Here's a new one. We are using our vacation club membership as a fundraiser. You can link to a page on our website for some current specials. The details are there, but basically you get a great deal on your accommodations. For the price we charge you, we pay for the condo and the fee for booking a trip for a non-member. Anything left over goes toward our adoption.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Correction and Update

Okay, I must have been very tired last night. I completely lied about Eli's being born at 33 weeks. As I recall, he was born 3 weeks early, not AT 33 weeks. It sounded good last night to compare the FBI to that, but I realized today that it was an accidental exaggeration. On a more ironic note, though, I saw that Tim's FBI letter will be expiring very soon. Oh boy. Here we go again.

While I have you here reading, I'll give a bit more update. I got all of my papers apostilled today. They are ready to go in the mail tomorrow to our agency. From there, on to Bulgaria they go.

I have been so focused on finishing the applications, finishing the home study, finishing the dossier, waiting for the FBI, and fundraising. Now that the waiting (and, of course, fundraising) is imminent, I feel myself getting nervous. What will the girls be like? Will we all get along? Will it take a long time to feel like a family? What if they don't like us? What if they are scared of us or where we live? Can I really handle this? Will I ever have the house in order enough to make room for two more kids? How will I homeschool four? I don't know if I am prepared for travelling. I've never been on a plane or out of the country (except to drive into Canada for 5 minutes back before passports were needed). Can my boys handle our being out of the country for a week...twice? I sometimes still can't get Eli to go into his Sunday School class and stay.

Anyway, the alternative (not adopting) just isn't an option. The boys are anxious for the girls to get here. I want them here (and I want the yard sales to stop). Most of all I want to be obedient to God, and I really feel that He is the one who has led us to this place. I don't know what all He has in store for our family, but I do know that if we don't follow His lead, we will miss out on the blessings He had planned for us. The ride has been especially bumpy this year, but it just makes me hold on tighter to the One who knows where we are going.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Well it "only" took 32 weeks to get my FBI clearance letter! (Funny, it only took 33 weeks for my second child to be conceived, developed, and born!!) It arrived on Saturday during Yard Sale #22. Today I took this letter along with 3 other documents that have expired while we waited and had them notarized and certified. Tomorrow I make the trip to Nashville to have them apostilled. Next they are off to Bulgaria as quickly as possible so we can be officially registered.

Next we wait and try to raise BIG BUCKS!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yard Sale #21

That's right. We completed yard sale #21 today. This is the 10th this year, but the 21st since we started raising money for this adoption. We have now raised over $4000 just on yard sales items. Today was our biggest one-day sale ever! We even did better than some of our 2-day sales have been.

I haven't heard yet if we are officially registered in Bulgaria. We were told that we should have been by the end of August. I will probably email the agency on Monday just to see if it is official yet. I'm both excited and nervous at the thought of being registered. I'm anxious to have the girls here as soon as possible, but I know we don't have the money yet. I would so hate to delay bringing the girls home just because the money wasn't ready.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Photo Op

Yesterday I was finally able to talk to a friend who has just been home a couple of weeks with her 3 1/2 year-old daughter from China. When I got off the phone, I was explaining to the boys (who are just dying to meet her) that they are still adjusting. I could tell from the blank looks on their faces that they weren't quite understanding. So, I elaborated by telling them that for one thing, she was waking up at night and probably wondering "Where am I? Where did the lady go that usually takes care of me? Who are these people who talk funny?"

We left it at that and went on to their piano lessons. After we got home, Eli saw his camera on a shelf, asked for it, and started taking pictures everywhere. When Tim came in from school, he asked Eli what he was doing. Eli said he was taking pictures of the house for Keely and Mattie. Apparently he planned to send these pictures to Bulgaria for Keely and Mattie so that when they come home, they won't feel like they are in a strange place. What a sweetie! He even opened the fridge and took pictures of the inside.

Both boys seem to have the girls on their minds more lately. Makes me proud of them.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Small Step; Another Big Plan

Our dossier is out of translation and should be registered by the end of the month. Because of various summer complications and temperatures over 100, we have not had the kamikaze yard sale season we thought we would have. Perhaps we will be able to have Saturday sales until Thanksgiving or something like that.

We are working on our application with Both Hands for a major fundraiser this fall. If I haven't told you how it works, here's the condensed version. We put together a team who sends out letters asking people to sponsor them. BUT, instead of sponsoring them in a race or walk or something like that, they will be spending one Saturday working on a widow's house. That's why it is called Both Hands. In one project, one hand helps the widow while the other helps the orphan. Our first problem is that we don't know a widow that needs this help. If you know of one in our area who would be willing to help us by letting us help her, PLEASE let us know.

The second issue is that we are supposed to have a foreman to oversee all of the projects. We don't have this either. So, if you can help or recommend someone...... you get the picture.

School is now underway. Tim has finished his first full week with students. The boys and I have finished two weeks. So far, so good.

To those of you who have asked about our adoption progress, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You don't know what an encouragement it is for you to simply ask how it is going...and then stand there politely while I give you an update that is a little too long. Thanks for letting me vent.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dossier News

I can't believe almost a month has passed since my last post. I had just sent our dossier to our placing agency. I found out a few days later that they had already sent it on to Bulgaria. They spoke with people in Bulgaria and got "permission" to go ahead and send it WHILE updating Tim's med letter and still trying to get my FBI clearance letter. So, it is being translated now. Then we wait for the match...

Of course, our wait will be a busy one. When we accept a referral (and soon thereafter) we will need to spend approximately another $10,000. Traveling twice and final fees will result in roughly another $10,000. Can you say "yard sale"? Now trying saying it a LOT...REALLY FAST. I guess that's about how many we will do.

In non-adoption news, we will be starting our school year next week. Colton will be in 3rd grade, and Eli will actually be starting kindergarten. I haven't yet finished writing everything in the plan books, but I hope to be finished soon. Also, Tim had knee surgery on Monday. He seems to be recovering very well.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In the Mail!!

First, a little more of our roller coaster ride. I forgot to mention in my last post that on the Friday before Memorial Day (before going to the ER), lightening hit our house. It was very loud and bright, and I told Tim for quite a while that I still felt tingly all over. The next day we noticed a hole in the soffit just about 6 feet above my head where I had been sitting in the corner of my bedroom when it hit. Upon closer inspection, we determined that it was an entrance hole and found the exit hole on the far side of the garage door. We feel very blessed that the house didn't catch on fire. We lost several electronics and are still working to replace those.

Next, I didn't mention that as Tim left the ER on crutches on that Saturday, we were due to leave for vacation on Tuesday -- a two-week road trip through 15 states. I was afraid I was going to end up driving, but by the time we left, he wasn't really using the crutches anymore and had traded the stiff leg stablizer on his knee for a bendable brace. We traveled with the crutches and stablizer in the back, but never had to use them. (Thank you, Lord!)

I hope to do a separate post about vacation later when I get my pics on the computer, so for now I will move on to adoption news. As I mentioned last time, I was rejected again for my FBI prints. The additional problem was that this news came the 2nd day of our trip. It would be almost 2 weeks before I'd even be home to redo them. Our agency's director spoke with the officials in Bulgaria, and they said for us to go ahead and submit our dossier without the FBI clearance letter AND to go ahead and try the fingerprints again. While we are waiting for the FBI, they can be translating our documents.

We got home from vacation on Sunday about 4:30. We had 2 hours to unload, change clothes, grab a pizza, and get to church for the start of VBS week...not only for the kids, but Tim and I were working as well.

Monday's plan--finish the dossier and get it in the mail. Didn't happen. I got most of our papers notarized, but ran out of time before getting to our local agency for picking up the last few papers and having them notarized there. Rushed back home to get ready for VBS. (VBS didn't dismiss each night until 8:45. We usually didn't leave until after 9. Home and to bed. No time for anything.)

Tuesday's plan--get the dossier to Nashville to be apostilled. Didn't happen. Tim had a doctor's appointment in the AM for his knee. I got the rest of the papers from HSC (the local agency). With everything notarized, we went to the county clerk's office to have all of the notary stamps certified. Apparently, we are in one of only two states who require this step before apostilling. While there, they pulled my medical letter out of the stack and handed it back to me. Its notary was commissioned in Williamson County. Great. There went the trip to Nashville. We made the trip to Williamson County instead. When we arrived and gave them the paper, though, they pointed out that the notary's commision expired last week. (We've had the letter since April but couldn't get the other ducks in a row to get to this step in the process.) I wasn't angry about the delay, but I did feel stupid for not noticing the expiration date written right on the front of the letter. And I caused Tim to lose the entire afternoon from getting things done on his own to-do list.

Wednesday's plan--get a new doctor's letter with a new notarization and get it certified so we can go to Nashville tomorrow. It worked out that I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for this afternoon, so I spent some time scanning the dossier before the apostille is applied. I took a new copy of the med letter to my doctor, but had to leave it to be completed. They called an hour after I got home and said it was ready, but I didn't have enough time to go get it, go to HSC to get it notarized, and get to the county clerk's office before they closed. I spent a few minutes trying to put away vacation stuff instead. Oh, I also noticed the night before that the medical letter stated that a copy of the doctor's license was attached. Neither of our doctors had done this. We asked both today, and they said their legal departments said no.

Thursday's plan--get to Nashville! Tim had an MRI this morning on his knee. Once he was home, I went to my doc's office and got my letter. Took letter to HSC to be notarized. Stephanie tried to pull up our doctors' licenses online, but the website was painfully slow. Took letter to county clerk. "Weren't you here just the other day?" "Yes. Yes, I was." Triple check stack of papers to be apostilled. In-laws weren't home, so we loaded the kids and papers up for a trip to the Secretary of State's office. We had been told to be at the door no later than 3:30 if we wanted to get in the building. I signed in at 3:17. Tim had to stay in the lobby with the guard because the kids were not allowed in the building. About 45 minutes later, I emerged with our precious stack of apostilled papers. Again, we barely made it to VBS. Finally got the doctors' licenses verified online and printed each.

Friday's plan--get fingerprinted for the 3rd time; get fingerprints and dossier in the mail. Each day this week, other things have come up in the morning (even besides trying to catch up on sleep from vacation and VBS), so that we usually don't get going until afternoon. I spent this morning scanning the apostilles. I now have the entire dossier in a single pdf file with bookmarks to each part. I also printed a copy of the entire thing to include when mailing it to our placing agency. In the afternoon, we dropped the kids off at the in-laws, grabbed the pull-behind trailer, and continued up the street to pick up a washing machine (donated for us to sell). We took the machine back to our house to unload and couldn't get to our driveway because of the fire trucks. Yes, fire trucks. It's a bad feeling when you turn onto your street and see fire trucks about as far up the street as your house. Turns out, it was the house across the street from us. It wasn't blazing, but there was a good bit of smoke. Apparently the fire dept got there very quickly. We four-wheeled the dolly with the machine across yards and put it in the garage. We left the trailer in a neighbor's yard and headed to the police department for fingerprints. We picked up the outside phone as always and told them why we were there. He said he would come and get us, but it would be a while because they were wrestling three guys. Okay. If only he had not said he would come and get us, we would have waited a bit and then left. I hated to interrupt them by calling again even to say "never mind." So we waited. And waited. And waited. After about 45 minutes, we called again. This time a lady answered and told us to come around to booking. We did. We called again from that phone, and she said she'd come get us. So we waited. And waited. Finally, she came. I told her that I had been rejected twice from the FBI. She called out asking for anyone who was really good with fingerprints. Another officer came forward and did the most thorough job of ink prints I've had done yet. By the time we left, an hour or more had passed. Post office was closed. Tim was late for picking recyclables for some folks (a tiny side business of his). Got that done, ran to pick up the kids, rushed to VBS for closing night.

Saturday's plan--drag myself to the post office place and mail the fingerprints and dossier. I spent the first part of the morning cleaning. We made a mess packing for vacation. Then we came back and dropped everything to rush to VBS. Every day we have concentrated more on the dossier and VBS and haven't made any noticable progress in cleaning. Today is the day to conquer the house!!! Besides, I wasn't sure when the post office place opened. : D So I cleaned until about 10, and then went in and actually mailed everything! YEA!! What a relief to have it finished. Yes, I understand that my agency may call Tuesday and say, "You forgot to..." I'm almost expecting it. But I checked everything 5 or 6 times, so I at least feel confident that I did my best.

And now...back to the House of Clutter.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roller Coaster Ride

Any of you who have been on an adoption journey know that it is a roller coaster ride. However, the last few weeks have been especially crazy.

First, in my last entry, I mistakenly called it our second yard sale weekend. It was our third. How time flies when you're having fun! As I began to prepare for this one. A snake got in the garage. I got him out, but he wouldn't go far. Every time we opened the garage door, one of us had to watch him to make sure he didn't go in again. At the end of our sale on Saturday, as we were cleaning up, we looked and saw he had gotten caught in a glue trap (a triangular tunnel with a sticky floor for catching mice.) On a second look there was an awful lot of snake coming out both ends. I said, "I TOLD you I thought I saw two snakes that first time!" When Tim took them back into the woods to attempt to let them go, he opened the trap and found that there were FIVE snakes! Yikes! Oh, and this was our best yard sale so far this year. Yea!

On Memorial Day, we started the day by finding one more (but much bigger) snake caught in a new glue trap in the same corner of our garage. Yuck! By the end of the day I was in the emergency room. See, I had been feeling my heart skip a beat and was really tiring out by evening. After a nap in the afternoon, my left arm was kind of numb. I was scared enough to go to the ER. We spent the rest of the evening there. They found nothing at all wrong with my heart but did find that I had a touch of pneumonia! Go figure. That would explain my tiredness. So I went home with a prescription for that and followed up with my regular doc a couple of days later. She prescribed 8 hours of sleep a night for the heart skipping. With kids, that's difficult, but I'm working hard to sleep more. ; )

This was followed by a quick 2-night trip to my mom's. As we returned on Friday, Tim had to get things together for an RA campout at church. A little too much kickball with the boys, and he had re-injured his left knee (which he first hurt last year but never had it looked at so it's been hurting off and on ever since...MEN!). On Saturday, he came home and was putting things back into our storage shed and -- possibly because of his sore knee -- he fell out of the shed and hurt his foot. When a huge knot came up on top of his foot, we decided it was time for his trip to the ER fearing he had broken it. We've been to the ER once in 1997 and once in 2006. Now we had been twice in one week!! Turns out he had a sprained left knee and a sprained right foot. Even with crutches, that made for some interesting and slow walking. But, we were very thankful nothing was broken.

A few days later, I found out that my granny (last living grandparent I have) was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Please say a prayer for her as she is facing surgery.

Next, a good thing. We got our I-800A approved. Yea! That left only my FBI clearance letter before our dossier would be ready to "officialize" and send in. Remember how that was rejected after 8 weeks of waiting? Well, 9 weeks after submitting my fingerprints again, I was rejected AGAIN! Makes me wonder how they can ever use fingerprints to catch a criminal.

If I do my prints a third time (and btw they want more money for the third convenient), then by the time we hear from them again, Tim's letter will have expired! This is where I need another prayer from you. Our agency is going to talk with the Bulgarian officials, explain the problem, and see if we can prove my lack of criminal history another way. After all, I had to be FBI cleared for our home study and again for our I-800A. Pray that they will let us resolve this now so we can get our dossier sent in.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

USCIS, Yard Sales, End of School

First, USCIS. I received a notice from USCIS saying there was a problem with our I-800A. The first problem was that I did not send an original copy of our home study. I do have an excuse for this. The instructions on their website said in bold print DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. Below these instructions in section 7, they give instructions for the home study. Nowhere in this section do they tell you to send original documents! !#@!$#@!# The second problem I don't understand. Page 9 of our 10-page home study was simply missing. I checked the scanned version on my computer, and sure enough, page 9 was missing. I'm sure I fed it through automatically, so page 9 must have simply stuck to page 10. The third and final problem I have absolutely no excuse for. Since our home study agency is not Hague accredited, we were supposed to submit a letter from our placing agency (Hague accredited) saying that they had reviewed the home study. Okay, I just totally missed that part. Nevertheless, I got a letter from our placing agency and SEVERAL original "copies" of our home study from our local agency and got the required items in the mail yesterday.

Today we took care of our USCIS fingerprinting appointment. These were the computerized fingerprints like we did the first time for the home study except we had to go to Nashville to have these done. At first I thought we were doing very well, but the lady did have a lot of difficulty with a couple of my fingers. She just couldn't get good prints from them. She finally had to report it to her supervisor who graciously gave us both permission to call it quits. (In case you have forgotten, my first set of ink prints sent in for my FBI clearance letter was rejected after 8 weeks of waiting. I'm now on week 7 after sending in the second set.) It was kind of freaky though to watch the computer screen after a scan and see red letters come up saying "Warning: Match Found". It did that a lot. Upon leaving, I told Tim that I guess there is a criminal out there who also has lousy prints. Without prints, though, they can't prove it's me!

Next topic: Yard Sales. We're having Yd Sale 2 this weekend. Our goal is to do two per month this summer. I'm completely pooped just typing that! One big blessing, though, is that our garage is absolutely full of donations. I don't think we will even put out anything that was in our sale a couple of weeks ago. I'm even scheduled tomorrow to pick-up the leftovers from a yard sale that took place last weekend.

Finally, we are wrapping up our school year tomorrow. I can't believe Colton will be in 3rd grade next year. Worse yet, Eli will be in kindergarten! Where did the time go! Just think, Colton was going into kindergarten when we decided to adopt. I am so ready for this process to be over!! Okay, just having one of those "impatient moments" there. Back to our school year...Overall, I think we had a really good year. Eli is doing great with his reading, and we'll be continuing his lessons some over the summer. Colton changed math books part way through the year, so we will be doing some math all (or most) of the summer just to make sure he is on track to start third grade. Of course, we are most excited to see Tim come home for the summer. The boys just love having their daddy home all summer. I must say I enjoy it, too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Fingerprints

Have you other adopters ever wondered how expensive it would be to just BUY your own fingerprinting equipment? I'm thinking it would be so much easier if I could just do this myself and have the fingerprints notarized or something.

In my last post, I told you that my fingerprints for the FBI clearance letter had been rejected. I went and had those redone. The very day I put them back in the mail to the FBI, Tim's clearance letter arrived. It took 8 weeks and 3 days for his letter to come. As of today, I have waited 12 weeks and 3 days. Keep in mind that these letters apparently self-destruct every 6 months. I'm beginning to wonder how far in advance I need to begin the process again.

We did have a note of progress today, though. We received our notice from USCIS of our appointment to be fingerprinted for them. We have to go to Nashville for these. For those of you living outside of TN, you may not have heard about Nashville's 500-yr flood last weekend. Our appointment isn't until the end of the month, but I'm thinking that I might need to be calling someone to see if the building is still there, still open, etc. Click here to see the flood. We don't actually live in Nashville, but we are only about 30 minutes away. I could not believe the devestation was so nearby while we sat so unaffected in our dry home.

Gotta give praises here...friends received their referral since my last post. So happy for them and can't wait for them to travel.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yard Sales and EASTER

Yard Sale Season is officially underway for 2010. We had our first yard sale this past Friday and Saturday. Sometimes when people donate large items, we put those on Craigslist instead of in the sale. So, our total for the sale and the Craigslist stuff that has sold came to $480. Yea!

It was funny how God worked it. We can usually average about $500 for a weekend. Friday we were so excited to raise almost $350. Then Saturday morning we realized why we had a big day on Friday...we were rained out all morning. The rain did finally pass, and we hurried out to set up about 11:30. Not the time of day to start a sale! But it was like a bad spoof on "Field of Dreams" -- "If you raise the garage doors, they will come." We didn't have the first table out before cars were stopping. The abbreviated day didn't yield a lot, but it was about $90 we didn't have before. (If you're doing the math, the rest was from Craigslist.)

We completed our home study a few weeks ago, but are just now poised to get the official, notarized copy in our hands. As soon as we do, we will be ready to send in our I-800A to USCIS. This is our request to immigration for permission to bring the girls into the US. Once we get another fingerprinting appointment from them, we will wait for their approval letter. When that is received, we will be ready to send in our dossier. I can't wait to get those stacks of papers off of the girls bed. They've been sitting there since our home study was finished in mid-February.

On a frustrating note, I received an envelope from the FBI saying that they had rejected my fingerprints. We sent that in 8 weeks ago tomorrow and have been waiting for our FBI clearance letter. Now I have to be re-fingerprinted and send it in again. Does that mean my 10-week wait starts all over? These letters are only good for 6 months. Does that mean that Tim's will expire 2 months before mine. It would have been a lot easier to keep all those expiration dates together. I also have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and was going to get my med form signed. (It's also only good for 6 months.) That was supposed to coincide with the FBI clearance letter. Now I think my dates are all messed up. Not to mention that the delay really stinks.

Okay, moving on to a family update. Eli turned 5 in February with a big party at Bounce-U. He is starting to seem so big! He is eating MUCH better, but he is still only about 36 pounds. He was sick just after his birthday with a stomach bug, and his appetite took off as he got better. He's gone from the 18-month-old who might eat 1/2 a grape for lunch to the 5-yr-old who had 4 fried eggs and a pop-tart for lunch last week. He is crazy about fruit, raw spinach, and mashed potatoes. Eli is also doing a great job with his reading lessons. He is starting to find words in the "real world" that he knows. Love that stage!

Colton took Eli's stomach bug about a week later. It took his appetite away for a while. He will be turning 8 next week and wants a quiet birthday supper at home with family. He's doing great with his school work. His favorite subject is history, although he really likes science and Spanish also. Colton and Eli have both started taking martial arts. I think they are really enjoying it.

Finally, onto Easter! I wish we celebrated Easter every Sunday. Today's service was awesome. I even dusted off my trumpet to play for the offertory. Nerve-wracking! I haven't really played in at least 20 years. (Oh my! Did I just admit that in writing!) Maybe I'm committed now to keeping it up since folks know I can play. I do want to polish it up a bit -- the playing, not the actual trumpet. On the way home, Eli said, "When are Keely and Mattie going to be here?" ...which brings me full circle back to the adoption. It warms my heart, though, to know that the boys are thinking about them.

Happy Easter, Everyone! Christ the Lord is Risen Today!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


For those of you who subscribe to my blog or have it emailed to you, I wanted to let you know that I had to make a few changes to my last entry. The pricing for the puzzle pieces has changed. It is now $3 for each piece, but if you purchase 10 or more they are $2.50 each. I was having too many complications working out a way for online ordering, and purchasing and odd number of pieces (greater than 1) was getting weird.

Sorry for the confusion, but I think I have it worked out now.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Puzzle Sale

Okay, I stole this fundraiser idea from another adoptive family, but I think it is just precious. I have purchased two 1000-piece puzzles. Here they are...

To raise funds for our adoption, we are "selling" the puzzle pieces. For each piece you purchase, we will write your name (or any name you choose) on the back of the puzzle. When the puzzles are complete, I will frame them to hang in the girls' room, and one day they will each have a puzzle as a keepsake. The names on the back will be visible to show them all the people who helped to bring them home.

*Purchase a piece with your name on the back
*Purchase a piece for each member of your family
*Purchase pieces equally from Keely's and Mattie's puzzles (but you don't HAVE to specify whose puzzle if you don't want)
*Purchase pieces "in honor" or "in memory" of someone
*Purchase a section of pieces as a group (extended family, club, Sunday School class, etc.)

Each piece costs $3. If you purchase 10 or more, they are $2.50 each. Here's how to participate...

1. Click the DONATE button on the right to go to PayPal.
2. Enter the amount you wish to donate.
3. In the special instructions box, tell me how many pieces you are "purchasing" and whose name(s) should appear on the puzzle.
4. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, or church how they can also help us. We still have A LOT of funds to raise before our daughters can come home

If you don't want to donate online, we can take your donations in person (if you live in our area), or you can email me for our mailing address.




Saturday, January 30, 2010

February Fun Night

Since my last post, we have worked on our home study, had a great Christmas, worked on our home study, had a great New Year's, worked on my transcription course, worked on the home study, researched (again) and changed our math curriculum (We're switching from Math-U-See to Math Mammoth. Let me know if you would like more info.), and worked on the home study. This week we submitted the last items to our social worker. She thinks she can have our home study written up and ready for us by Feb 11. With that in mind, I hope to get everything ready for our dossier, the I-800A, and maybe even a couple of grant applications. As soon as I have that home study in hand, I can start sending those things off.

I haven't had the nerve to check, but I think we will also be due another payment to our placing agency when we submit the dossier. That means we need to hit some fundraising again. Since it is too cold for a yard sale (not to mention all the snow and ice outside right now), I thought I'd suggest February Fun Night. I'm looking for 10 people who will participate.

All you have to do, is organize a Fun Night fundraiser for a group of your friends. Let them know that this is a fundraiser for our adoption and ask them to bring a $10 donation to the event. The group you invite might be your Sunday School class, your scrapbooking friends, your cousins, a mini-reunion of college friends, your daughter's friends, your son's scout troop, your church's youth group, etc., etc. The possibilities go on and on.

What do you do at this Fun Night? It's entirely your choice. Offer snacks and a movie, work on a common hobby, have game night, a Wii party, kareoke, or Girls' Night Out. Let your daughter have a slumber party for donating guests. Have pizza night.

If you don't want to provide the snacks, you could put in $10 like everyone else and take the cost of the party out of the collection. Whatever is left is how much your party can send in.

Just think! If 10 people participate and have 10 people come to each of their parties and donate $10 each, that would be $1000. I would feel really comfortable going into this dossier with an extra $2000 ready to be sent here and there.

If you live nearby, I'd be glad to come share our story about adoption. If you live further away, I can email you a printed version you could share with your guests. Or, share the story as part of the invitation if you think that would be helpful.

Let me know if you have questions.

Let me know if you want to SIGN UP.